If you are drawn to Sales there is a good chance you suffer the most from the inescapable spectrum of feeling like a rock star and then feeling like the roadie. If you are really good at Sales and you never doubt yourself, there’s a 99% chance you are a sociopath. This is not a judgment, this is an educated guess. Most authentic human beings, however, experience what the self-help world call ‘doubt.’ Doubt affects almost everyone regardless if you carry a gun or if you hug a tree. With enough practice you can overcome this common obstacle with a few not so easy steps: adjust your expectations, get over yourself, and remember to remember.
Let’s start with the first part of this solution; adjust your expectations. If you have a healthy source of ambition, that generally means that you have lofty goals for what you consider success. The more ambitious you are the less likely you’ll have reasonable expectations. Super ambitious sales folk will think of success as a linear equation with an unforgiving level of cash return associated; this is a delusion. “Success” is more like a series of equations with more variables than sales people consider. You are probably a dynamic human being and there are more factors involved such as time, experience, and quality of life. I know, I know you Landmark Education folks say that you can’t get anywhere with “reasonable” expectations but that’s only half the story. You do need an unreasonable commitment but it’s to the process, not the result. In yoga they like to say, “be unattached,” but once again that’s not the whole story. Being unattached can be interpreted as being aloof. The “unattachment” that is talked about refers to the outcome, not the process. You can have an unreasonable commitment to your behavior, but you must have a reasonable expectation of the kind of results you can expect of it. If you are really talented at Sales, you will probably need to understand this the most because there’s no way to cheat the system. Sustainable results take time and being desperate to live up to your unreasonable expectations can lead to a quick death in Sales.
Secondly, the only way to get over yourself is with laughter and perspective. If you are someone who cannot laugh at themselves, you are most likely a sociopath and this article is not for you. Do you genuinely feel that you aren’t a sociopath and you still can’t laugh at yourself? Keep in mind all the things you’ve ever stressed about and think about all the times you worried or panicked about failing miserably and becoming homeless. Go ahead. I’ll wait. If you really sit at think about it, you’ve probably spent your entire professional life worrying and stressing about every part of your career. In fact, you’ve probably stressed more as a sales person than you ever have on any other aspect of your life. If you’ve been in sales for a long time, you’ve probably been stressing for a very long time, yet here you are. To be fair the longer you’ve been stressing the funnier it is that you keep stressing . Here you are, successful enough to stay in the loop to keep stressing about the fact you’re not gonna be in the loop. Yeah it’s not haha funny, but the difference between crying and laughing is thin. So very thin.
Remembering to remember is the last aspect to make sure you endure the trials and tribulations of your own psyche. Most healthy human beings go through emotional ups and down and they will most certainly forget that they are smack dab in the middle of an unending rollercoaster of belief and doubt. The goal isn’t to judge your experience on emotions that are always changing, but to consider yourself as the entire spectrum: not an interval based static enterprise. Our emotions work very hard to make sure you don’t think about this, and in the moment you truly believe your shame and self doubt is your true self, and that your confidence is a sham. Knowing that you travel back and forth on your ever flowing spectrum is half the battle to not spending more time in any one place emotionally. This doesn’t mean you deny or rush through what you feel, just that you keep it in perspective that it will most likely change. Your business flows, your emotional state flows and you are unfamiliar with this process, again, you are probably a sociopath. As a former yogi, the basic premise of all yoga principles is the understanding that even if you are enlightened, that will fade. This means that no matter how much you feel connected to the world, or no matter how positive you feel about the future, the human condition is that it will change in the opposite direction. True Enlightenment is understanding that enlightenment fades, but then so does darkness. The most self destructive moments we have as sales people aren’t when we are down, it’s when we are “up.” In those up moments, we solidify unreasonable expectations to maintain the emotional high. This is compounded by the fact that society is generally more helpful when you’re feeling low: “Hey snap out of it” or “let it go man” make sense when you’re down. It doesn’t make any sense when you’re up to ruin someone’s day by asking them to put things in perspective. The truth is that no matter how connected or optimistic you feel in any particular moment, its going to change even if you’re doing great work. The healthy mind doubts itself, it doubts it’s situation, and it doubts the future and the past. Conversely the doubt is what makes our accomplishments so tasty. If there wasn’t any doubt, was there really any glory? Your confidence will pass, but so will your doubt. If you can remember to remember this, you’ll be a step ahead to getting back on track even when things look grim.
Why are we drawn to a career that causes us such stress? The rewards. The doubt we experience makes the reward taste even sweeter. Each day requires a new commitment to ensure that we don’t lose motivation or lose faith in what we can do for clients. If we adjust our expectations, laugh and learn from our mistakes, and if we can remember to remember that our emotions are always changing we can take our business to the next level.
Thinking about taking that next step in your career? Interested in real estate? Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org